Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf is 16, lives with his family in Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania and last weekend, by virtue of his extraordinary proficiency at a computer game, he became a millionaire.
At the end of the first-ever Fortnite World Cup, which took place at New York’s Arthur Ashe Stadium, Kyle emerged victorious from a field of 100 of the world’s best gamers to pocket a first prize of $3m (£2.5m).
In case Fortnite has so far passed you by, it is a phenomenally popular online survival game – if you are of a certain vintage, think cult Japanese movie Battle Royale continually being acted out by headset-wearing, controller-punching players all over the world.
And if your children are of a certain vintage, it may well be the reason you do not see them for hours at a time after school or at the weekend.
Mind you, if there is a vague possibility of their picking up a million or two at the end of their endeavours, you might feel more inclined to leave them to it – though clearly Giersdorf has put some significant time into his chosen field.
Significant time invested
Far from becoming a millionaire overnight, according to this CNBC article, he plays Fortnite at least six hours a day – even on schooldays.
And though his parents seem happy his school grades are holding up well, maybe the Giersdorf family need not be too concerned – for clearly there is gold in them there gaming consoles.
Each of the 100 Fortnite World Cup participants was guaranteed $50,000 just for turning up while the total prize pool was $30m – exactly the same as was on offer at this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, notes this Engadget article.
Continuing the remuneration comparisons with real-world sports, Giersdorf’s paycheque was three-quarters of what the entire USA women’s team received for winning the football World Cup; was pretty much in line with the £2.35m Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep each won as the 2019 singles champions at Wimbledon; and was half as much again as the £1.6m golfer Shane Lowry recently pocketed for winning the Open.
Should athletes trade their shoes for controllers?
It would appear, then, that technology is gearing up to be as disruptive to the world of games-playing as it is to so many other parts of life – but does that mean Megan Rapinoe and her teammates, Djokovic, Halep and Lowry and every other sportsperson in the world should be trading in the tools of their trade for gaming consoles and headsets?
It seems unlikely.
Like Giersdorf, professional athletes have spent countless hours honing their skills and they are hardly going to throw that all away while the arena in which they excel is still thriving.
We very much feel that way about world stock markets where, despite many investors tripping over themselves to back perceived disruptors regardless of valuation or profits, we will continued to follow a process for which there is now approaching a century and a half of historical data to show buying good businesses for less than their intrinsic value will, on average and over time, yield above-average returns.
Kevin Murphy is an author on The Value Perspective, a blog about value investing. It is a long-term investing approach which focuses on exploiting swings in stock market sentiment, targeting companies which are valued at less than their true worth and waiting for a correction.
Important Information: The views and opinions contained herein are of those named in the article and may not necessarily represent views expressed or reflected in other Schroders communications, strategies or funds. The sectors and securities shown above are for illustrative purposes only and are not to be considered a recommendation to buy or sell. This communication is marketing material.
This material is intended to be for information purposes only and is not intended as promotional material in any respect. The material is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any financial instrument. The material is not intended to provide and should not be relied on for accounting, legal or tax advice, or investment recommendations. Reliance should not be placed on the views and information in this document when taking individual investment and/or strategic decisions. Past performance is not a guide to future performance and may not be repeated. The value of investments and the income from them may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amounts originally invested. All investments involve risks including the risk of possible loss of principal. Information herein is believed to be reliable but Schroders does not warrant its completeness or accuracy. Reliance should not be placed on the views and information in this document when taking individual investment and/or strategic decisions. The opinions in this document include some forecasted views. We believe we are basing our expectations and beliefs on reasonable assumptions within the bounds of what we currently know. However, there is no guarantee than any forecasts or opinions will be realised. These views and opinions may change. Issued by Schroder Investment Management Limited, 1 London Wall Place, London, EC2Y 5AU. Registration No. 1893220 England. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.